What would you like to know more about?

Send an Email or Text Message

Note: This feature is only available in PDS Version 11. For more on upgrading, see Upgrade to the Latest Version.
  • Make sure you've completed the information in the Email & Text Setup window.
  • Before emailing individuals, make sure an email address is entered on their records.
  • Before texting individuals, make sure the phone numbers on their records indicate which provider they use.

You can send a simple email (plain text), advanced email (using HTML), or text message to individuals or a group.

  1. If you're emailing or texting one individual, open their record and click Quick Emails / Text Msgs in the navigation menu.
  2. Or, to send to a group, go to the relevant report section. (For example, if you're sending to a group of personnel, go to the Personnel Reports section.) Then, click Add at the bottom, click Letter / Email / Text, and select Simple Email / Advanced Email / Text Message. Enter the report information, then click Build.
  3. Select the type of message you want to send.
    • Simple Email—Best for a quick, basic message. Example: a quick update to your staff.
    • Advanced Email—Select a template to use or create your own HTML message. Include images and formatted text for a more formal look. Example: a newsletter to your parishioners.
    • Text Message—Quickly communicate via text. You must have text message providers set up with phone type keywords in order to use this method.
  4. Select whether to send this to the current individual whose record you opened or a group of individuals based on a selection.
  5. Enter the general information, which is sent along with the message. This information is required.
  6. Click inside the text box to start your message.
    1. If you're writing a simple email, enter your message in the text box. Click Add Field to use data from your program, such as "Hi, <Mem First Name". You can also click Add File to attach files, such as a PDF, to your message.
    2. If you're writing an advanced email, click inside the text box to open the advanced editor. Select one of the templates or click Blank HTML Email to start from scratch. When you're finished with your message, click Save. You can also click Add File to attach files, such as a PDF, to your message.
    3. If you're writing a text message, enter your message in the text box. Click Add Field to use data from your program, such as "Hi, <Mem First Name". If an individual you're sending to does not have a mobile phone number designated for texting, you can send the message as an email instead.
  7. If you might use this message again in the future, select Save as a Report to keep a copy that you can run from the Reports section.
  8. When you're done, click Preview.
  9. If you're sending this to a group, make your selections. When you're ready, click Preview and follow the prompts.
  10. When you're ready to send your message, click Start Email.
Note: If you use Gmail to send emails from PDS: Google limits the number of messages and the number of recipients per message you can send through the Gmail SMTP servers. See this Gmail article for details. If you exceed the limit, you may see an error in PDS when attempting to send the emails, such as "Transmission Failed. Error: 4.3.0 Temporary System Problem". If this happens, you can try sending emails in smaller batches over multiple days, as permitted by your Google settings.

Email/Text Message Field Information

You'll see different fields depending on the type of message you send and who you send it to.

From Name
Defaults to the name of your organization from the License window, but you can edit this field as needed. This is the name that displays to the recipient of the message.
From Email Address and Reply Email Address
Both fields default to the email address entered in the License window. If it's not listed in your License window, you can enter it here.
  • The From Email Address displays where the message is being sent from.
    Note: OnDemand users: By default, our OnDemand server is used to send messages from PDS. The From Email Address will display as notifications@ondemandmail.com. If you want to change this to an email address your parishioners are more familiar with, you can set up your own email server. For steps, see Email and Text Setup.
  • The Reply Email Address determines where any replies to the original email will be sent. This may be different than the From Email Address. If you want replies to go to a different address or multiple addresses, make sure to enter them in this field (separated by a comma if there is more than one).
  • For example, Father Jacob wants to send an email to parishioners, but he wants all replies to go to his assistant. In that case, you would enter Father Jacob's email as the From Email Address and the assistant's email as the Reply Email Address.
Subject Line
Defaults to "Letter from <your organization name>" as entered in the License window, but you can edit this field as needed.
Add Field
If you select to send a Simple Email or Text Message, you can add a field that populates using data from the program. For example, if you want your message to start with "Hi, Jimmy" (where Jimmy is the recipient's nickname), you would enter "Hi, " in the message box, then click Add Field, expand Mem > Mem - Additional Name Formats, and select Nickname. As a result, the message box displays "Hi, <Mem Nickname>". When Jimmy receives the message, he will see "Hi, Jimmy".
Email File Attachments
Click Add File and browse to the location of any file you want to send with the email. To remove all the files you added, click Clear Files.